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University of Iowa News Release


June 4, 2010

Seven UI alumni receive Fulbright fellowships for 2010-11

Seven University of Iowa alumni have been awarded Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarships to conduct research or teach English internationally in 2010-11, according to a recent announcement by the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

This year’s UI recipients are Lauren K. Reynolds, Sarita Patnaik, Marisa P. Handler, Nicole Pietrantoni, Edward Gauvin, Jenny J. Zhang and Katherine J. L. Thorpe.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.

Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in over 155 countries worldwide and awards more than 1,500 grants per year to U.S. citizens.

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

For more information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, visit

The UI International Programs Grants Office and the University Honors Program both provide assistance to UI students wishing to pursue Fulbright fellowships. Undergraduate students interested in pursuing Fulbright fellowships should contact Andrea Beloy, UI Honors Program scholarship director, at UI graduate or professional students should contact Natasha Boland Wilson, UI International Programs Grants Office, at

Following are this year's recipients listed alphabetically by hometown with Iowa hometowns first.


AMES: Lauren K. Reynolds, who earned her Bachelor of Arts in 2009 in international studies and Spanish in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), received a Fulbright fellowship for 2010–11. She will teach English in Turkey on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. She will also develop a blog that provides a space for intercultural dialogue, particularly for women’s groups in Turkey.

DENISON: Sarita Patnaik, who will graduate this summer with a Bachelor of Arts in French and international studies and a minor in art history in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, received a Fulbright fellowship for 2010-11. She will travel to Morocco to research art’s role in identity and citizen formation during and after the French colonization, as well as study current uses of art in Moroccan culture.


SAN FRANCISCO: Marisa P. Handler, who earned her Master of Fine Arts in English (Creative Writing: Fiction) in May 2010, received a Fulbright fellowship for 2010–11. She will travel to India to complete the first draft of a novel that explores the notions of death, grieving and loss within the cultural and philosophical context of contemporary India. In addition to conducting research, she will also be volunteering in communities. For more about this writer, activist, singer-songwriter and speaker, visit


LISLE: Nicole Pietrantoni, who earned her Master of Fine Arts with Honors in printmaking in 2010 in the UI Graduate College, has received a Fulbright fellowship for 2010-11. Nicole will travel to Iceland where she will conduct research and create a series of artworks that explore landscape, ecology and place. Her artistic projects will be anchored at five artist residencies located across the island, where she will also conduct community arts workshops and events.


BRIDGEWATER: Edward Gauvin, who earned his Master of Fine Arts in 2001 in English (Creative Writing), received a Fulbright fellowship for 2010–11. He will travel to Belgium to produce an anthology of translated fiction accompanied by original critical and biographical material to introduce American audiences to the contemporary Belgian fantastique. His focus will be on authors from the 1970s to the present. Small Beer Press recently debuted fabulist Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud with his translation collection “A Life on Paper.”


GLEN COVE: Jenny J. Zhang, who earned her Master of Fine Arts in 2009 in English (Creative Writing: Fiction), received a Fulbright fellowship for 2010–11. She will teach English in France on a French Government English Teaching Assistantship. She will also teach bookmaking courses to the community to encourage creativity and project-based learning and will work with her students on an oral history project, which will be edited and compiled into a book.


SEATTLE: Katherine J. L. Thorpe, who earned her Master of Fine Arts in 2009 from the Writers’ Workshop (Poetry), received a Fulbright fellowship for 2010–11. She will travel to Germany to study the transformation of formerly industrial spaces and buildings into cultural and artistic centers in the Ruhrgebiet region, Berlin and Hamburg in order to write a book in a hybrid poetic form that documents and enacts such artistic spatial recreation.


STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Andrea Beloy, 319-335-1874,; Natasha Wilson Boland, 319-335-0374,; Lois J. Gray, University News Services, 319-384-0077,